The salt and sugar in the rub ensure a juicy bird; letting it chill for a day or two guarantees crispy skin.
1 (12 -14 lb) turkey, thawed if frozen
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large onions
1 large apple
3 stalks celery
1 (0.75 oz) pkg fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee
Remove the giblets from the turkey cavity and pat the turkey dry, inside and out, with paper towels. (Reserve giblets to make Cheat’s roast turkey broth.) Place turkey in a 9x13-inch roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the salt, thyme, ground pepper, and maple syrup. Rub the mixture over the turkey breast, thighs, wings, legs, and inside the cavity. For best results, cover turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 48.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove turkey from refrigerator. Halve the onions, peel, and roughly chop. Next, roughly chop the apple (no need to peel or core) as well as the celery. Combine apple, celery, and onions with the thyme sprigs. Stuff the turkey cavity with some of the apple-vegetable mixture. Tie together the legs with kitchen twine and tuck the wing-tips under the bird. Brush the turkey with the olive oil. Scatter the remaining apple-thyme-vegetable mixture over the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the turkey on top of vegetables and roast for 30 min.
Reduce heat to 350°F and pour brewed coffee evenly over the turkey. Return to oven and roast for about 1 hour and 30 min., or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. If the breast and wings are browning too quickly, cover them with foil.
Remove roasting pan from oven. Transfer turkey to a platter (pouring any collected juices back into the roasting pan), cover loosely with foil, and let rest 20 min.
Strain pan juices into a bowl, you should have about 1 ½ cups. Discard solids. Skim fat from top of pan juices and use to make gravy (see Roast turkey redeye gravy on p.xx) . Slice turkey and serve with gravy. Garnish turkey with kumquats if desired.
If your oven has a convection roast setting, lower heat to 425°F for the first 30 min. then reduce to 325° for the remaining time.